I think one of the main difference between published writers and unpublished writers is the idea of inspiration. Sure, published writers still would love to be struck with a bolt out of the blue of a book that appears fully formed inside their head, a la Athena, but most published writers soldier on despite the lack of inspiration. Or the have inspiration, but it’s mostly known as deadlines or editors or, most important, a paycheck.
A lot of unpublished (and unknowing writers) sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. Screw that. Your muse is a fickle bitch. If you desperately cannot write without her, then go hunt her down, tie her to the chair next to you and get to work. Because the publishing world (slow as it may chug along), waits for no muse.
So get back to work.
The tricky part comes when you have the inspiration and the lack of time to make it happen. I still don’t feel that sorry for you, whiny person – Make time. Don’t worry, this advice is mostly directed at myself, these days. Yeah, you’re busy. Yeah, you have a family that you occasionally want to see. So what? Not every minute of every day is filled, I guarantee it. Those two minutes you sneak in solitaire at work? Write instead. That bathroom break (the most blissful 2 minutes of alone time you get all day)? Take your phone in there and type on that stupid tiny keyboard.
Make it happen. Forget inspiration. Move on.
Jennifer Cunningham says
The problem I have is that I get inspired, but can’t get motivated to write. At the moment I have plenty of time (to be honest), but I can’t seem to get started and then the day is gone. How do you get motivated to write? I think I lack confidence and that kills my motivation.
Melinda Skye says
I think you have to just give yourself permission to suck… essentially just state that you’ll sit down and write something, anything… just so long as you write. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not – just get words on the page. Then later, worry about editing it – because you can’t edit something that isn’t there.
And tell your internal editor to go sit in a corner 🙂